New 'lockdown' measures

Northern Ireland goes into four-week circuit breaker

Arlene Foster: ‘grave concern’

Northern Ireland is to close its pubs for a month from Friday and its schools for 14 days from next week on the back of rising Covid cases.

First Minister Arlene Foster told the Stormont Assembly this morning the rising figures were of ‘grave concern’.

Her announcement of a month-long “circuit breaker” came as the Republic this morning hinted at tailoring its coronavirus measures in the counties that border the province. 

Ms Foster said: “We fully appreciate that this will be difficult and worrying news for a lot of people.

“The Executive has taken this decision because it is necessary, and we discussed the impacts in great detail. We do not take this step lightly.”

Business support will be treated as a priority, she announced, as she confirmed that pubs and restaurants shut ahead of this weekend, with the exception of takeaways and deliveries.

Off-licences and supermarkets that sell alcohol will close at 8pm.

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